Steven Spielberg knows how create a mystery. For the 1975 movie trailer for Jaws the shark is never fully shown. This created a fear of the unknown. Audiences weren’t really sure what they were going to see when then went to the theater. However, for each Jaws sequel that followed (and not directed by Spielberg), Universal took away that mystery by showing plenty of shots of the man-eating beast. Sure, fans of the original already knew what type of movie they were bracing to see, but the mystery was gone. Fast forward to 1993 to the first trailer for Jurassic Park. Spielberg did it again. The dinos are only partially seen and the familiar feeling of dread came back. Since then, the executives at Universal can’t help themselves from showing more action scenes in hopes of raising excitement, but sometimes, they just show too much. That is the case with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
The end of Jurassic World ended like the original film with the destruction of the theme park due to dinosaurs running amuck. This caused fans to wonder what will be in store for them this time around. Unfortunately, some trailers for the new film end up showing too much key information and I found myself looking the other way when the commercials came on the TV. I will try hard not to spoil anything for you, but if you have seen these trailers, you already have a good idea about what’s going down this next chapter and honestly, the less you know before walking into the theater, the better you’ll like Fallen Kingdom.
Since we last visited the park on Isla Nublar three years ago, the dinosaurs have been roaming around the island without the fear that man would put them behind bars once again. However, the island features an active volcano which is bound to go “boom” soon. Meanwhile, back at the States, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a whole different person than she was in the first movie. She’s not impeccably dressed or uptight. Dinosaurs are no longer a path to financial opportunity, they are now worth saving. Claire now devotes her time running campaigns to remove those dinosaurs from the island. It’s an uphill battle trying to convince members of congress that losing the dinos to extinction … again … is not a “win” for anyone. Their own children have grown up with living, breathing dinosaurs instead of reading about them in a book.
Jeff Goldblum shows up again as Ian Malcolm warning of the dangers of playing god with these creatures and suggests that the country left nature (i.e. the volcano) run its course. (If you are hoping to see more of Malcolm, you’ll be disappointed. His screen time isn’t much more than what you have seen in the commercials for the movie.) Things being to look bleak for Claire and company.
However, it is about this time that a mysterious benefactor has agreed to work with Claire and friends to save as many of these beasts as they can. It is quickly revealed that Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) was a former friend and business partner of the late, Dr. John Hammond, the founder of the original park and would like nothing more than to protect these beasts. Because every Jurassic movie needs to star a child, he has a grandchild, Maisie (Isabella Sermon), who lives in his giant mansion with him. We also learn that he has hired Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) to run Lockwood’s estate who encourages Claire to talk to dinosaur trainer, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) into helping them retrieve his reptile buddy, “Blue” from the island.
Claire brings with her Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda) and rough and tumble dino doctor and Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) a computer nerd scaredy cat who screams like a girl and is really the movie’s only shortcoming.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom certainly has similar themes to the earlier movies about man thinking they can play God and continues the mythology, but it is its own story. If you’re looking for an action-packed movie that starts off with a bang and doesn’t end until the credits, this is your movie. Unlike Jurassic Park 2 which was also an action-fest, this story has a better plot. Yes, some characters are over-the-top and should be sporting long, twisted moustaches and yes, many aspects of the movie are unbelievable, and yes, you can probably figure out some of the plot points from a mile away, but don’t let that stand in the way of you having fun. This movie still features the wonder and horrors of living, breathing dinosaurs and a bunch of likable and/or intriguing characters to keep you happy for two hours. Smartly, Fallen Kingdom is rated PG-13 with minimal swearing and quickly edited violence. If your kids can handle the earlier movies, this one won’t be any different for them and surprisingly, might offer up some interesting discussions in the car going home.
Main Image: Universal
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